Who am I?
I'm a postdoc in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the University of Leicester, where I work with Andrew King. Prior to this I was a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia between July 2004 and November 2007... and before this I was a PhD student at the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) at the University of Durham, where I worked closely with Carlos Frenk and Adrian Jenkins.
From March 2011 I will be working at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia as a research associate professor, providing theory support for ASKAP and the MWA.
What do I do?
My area of research is computational cosmology and my interests are diverse. My early work focussed on characterising the properties of dark matter haloes in cosmological simulations, but while I still maintain a healthy interest in this area, my focus is now on worrying about the baryons! I spend most of time working on understanding how feedback from stars and black holes affect the formation of galaxies; how X-ray binaries could have played an important role in reionising the Universe at early times; how globular clusters might be able to tell us about the conditions of galaxy formation at high redshifts; and how galaxy surveys on next generation radio telescopes can uncover important clues about how galaxies form and evolve over the lifetime of the Universe.
I am involved in international efforts to exploit next generation neutral hydrogen surveys on radio telescopes such as Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), the South African MeerKAT and ultimately the Square Kilometre Array. In particular I am heavily involved in WALLABY, the Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind surveY on ASKAP, for which I coordinate the technical working group on "Numerical Simulations & Mock Surveys" (TWG1), which deals with galaxy formation modelling predictions and mock galaxy catalogues.
I've also started to think about the kind of science we can do with the proposed Cerenkov Telescope Array -- so much so that I'm on the SOC/LOC for the two day workshop on "The Future of Gamma Ray Astronomy and the CTA", to be held here at Leicester on October 26th/27th 2010.
Who do I work with?
I have a number of strong collaborations involving my principal partners in crime Alexander Knebe, Steffen Knollmann (Madrid), Greg Poole, Jarrod Hurley (Swinburne) , Carlton Baugh, Cedric Lacey, Han Sik Kim (ICC Durham), Celine Combet, Graham Wynn, Sergei Nayakshin (Leicester), Alexander Hobbs and Justin Read (ETH Zurich).
And when I'm not working...?
Academic interests aside, I hanker after a self-sufficient life somewhere remote under clear dark skies with the people who are special to me...